Saturday, August 19, 2017

North Korea vs USA news live: Trump ramps up shows of military force despite Guam threat

DONALD Trump is going ahead with a joint military exercise with South Korea, despite calls to delay or cancel the drills after Kim Jong-un threatened to launch missiles at Guam. Here is the latest news and live updates on the North Korea-USA tensions.
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis will travel to the Middle East and eastern Europe to address concerns about the fight against ISIS.

He will visit Jordan, Turkey, and Ukraine to reassure leaders and to reinforce the message that Washington will not tolerate Russia's annexation of eastern Ukraine.

Mattis, along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, sent a conciliatory message to North Korea last weekend in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal after Trump had threatened "fire and fury" if Pyongyang tried to attack the United States.

The two officials wrote that the United States "has no interest in regime change or accelerated reunification of Korea," addressing some of North Korea's fears that Washington ultimately intends to replace its leadership.

"It is certainly true that to some extent if you look at both Mattis and Tillerson, who travel a lot, they are both explainers and people who both manage to moderate and reassure," said Anthony Cordesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

12.00pm: US and South Korea to hold joint military drill

The US will hold its annual joint military exercises with South Korea on Monday, a display which could provoke Kim Jong-un’s wrath.

The Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills have taken place each year since the 1970s, but Monday’s will mark the first since North Korea threatened to strike the US Pacific territory of Guam.

Pyongyang successfully launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July, proving that it has the technology to strike Guam, or any other US territory it chooses.